Legislative Update Week Ending November 10 2017
Sources: "Preliminary Estimate of the Budgetary Effects of Using the Chained CPI Starting in 2014," Congressional Budget Office, March 1, 2013. .The new benefit formula under the 1977 law changes used "wage indexing" to calculate the initial retirement benefit. The economic assumptions used by Congress and the Social Security Administration assumed that wages would grow more quickly than price inflation. Generally, this is the way the economy tends to perform under normal circumstances. In reality, however, the reverse happened. .Since the November announcement from UnitedHealth, doctors have started to receive termination letters citing "significant changes and pressures in the health-care environment." Doctors who receive the notices had only thirty days to appeal the decision, and if they are dropped from the network, their patients may not find out until they go to schedule their next appointment. … Continued
Notch Bulletin How Long Have Notch Babies Been Underpaid
Since the tax brackets and the standard deduction wouldn't grow as fast as in the past, more people will get pushed into higher tax brackets more quickly when their income rises. The legislation would use a more slowly growing measure of inflation, the Chained Consumer Price Index, to make adjustments. .In addition, two new cosponsors – Reps. Pete Olson (TX-22) and Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) – signed on to the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (H.R. 2305), bringing the total up to sixty. If signed into law, the PRIME Act would take a number of steps to comprehensively prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within Medicare and Medicaid – a problem that TSCL believes must be addressed in order to ensure that scarce program dollars are being spent properly. .TSCL agrees with Congressman Carter and Ranking Member Cummings, and we believe Congress must act before the end of this year to prevent price gouging in the pharmaceutical industry. We enthusiastically support the Prescription Drug Affordability Act, and we will advocate for it tirelessly in the months ahead. For updates on the bill's progress, visit the Legislative News section of our website, or follow us on Twitter. … Continued
In addition, early this week lawmakers in the Senate majority took the first steps towards a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (WY) introduced a fifty-four-page budget resolution – S. Con. Res. 3 – on Tuesday that includes instructions for fast-tracking the law's repeal. The resolution instructs the four committees of jurisdiction – two in the House and two in the Senate – to draft repeal legislation before a January 27th deadline. It overcame its first hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate voted 51-48 to proceed. .At the same time that Social Security and Medicare rolls are increasing, the funding for Social Security and Medicare, which depend on payroll taxes withheld from wages, has fallen. Payroll taxes are not withheld from people who have no earnings. .Use the Contact Congress feature on the Home page of this site to obtain the names, addresses and other information on your Congressional delegation. You can even e-mail directly and sign our on-line petition in this full featured legislative action center. Click Guide to Contacting Congress to go to this section now. .Visiting with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk .First, one new cosponsor – Representative Ruben Gallego (AZ-7) – signed on to the Competitive DRUGS Act (H.R. 4117), bringing the total up to thirty-seven. If adopted, this bill would prohibit brand name pharmaceutical companies from paying generic drug companies to delay the introduction of their products to the market. Banning these anti-competitive "pay for delay" deals would lead to lower prescription drug prices for older Americans and other consumers. .TSCL continues to work with Members of Congress to pass "The Notch Fairness Act," legislation which would provide Notch Babies born 1917 through 1926 with a settlement of ,000 or a choice of higher monthly benefits. What you can do: Urge your Members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass "The Notch Fairness Act," H.R. 1001 and S. 118! To learn more about the status of Notch legislation, give us a call 1-800-333-8725. .This week, The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) announced its support for two new bills that would prevent a looming Medicare premium hike for around 15 million beneficiaries. In addition, one key bill gained a new cosponsor. .Currently, when hold harmless is triggered on a nationwide scale there is no provision of law to finance the unpaid portion of Medicare Part B premium increases. Instead, the entire burden of Part B costs is spread over a much smaller number of individuals, which is the 30 percent of Medicare Part B enrollees who are not protected by the hold harmless provision. This has led to significant spikes in Medicare Part B premiums during the hold harmless years, and in 2018 when a COLA finally became payable, to steep jumps in premiums for those whose Medicare Part B premiums were held lower in 2016 and 2017. .Changes to federal immigration policy affect the revenues that Social Security and Medicare receive and would also increase the number of people eligible for benefits in the future, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Both Social Security and Medicare face solvency and funding challenges.